The Perfect Unfolding.
TKS Books, 2021. Item #3005
5 x 5 in. archival giclee print of a mixed media artwork on paper, printed by Uncommonbindery. Housed in a yellow glassine envelope with pink embossed colophon sticker. The occasion of the collaboration is Steve Clay’s 70th birthday, and the original artwork is included in his festschrift.
On the nature of this piece and Ruby and Naomi Harrison-Clay's collaboration (click here for full text, from which this is excerpted):
R: The only way I know how to collaborate is intuitively and improvisationally, mutually leaning over a piece and adding gestures and textures which build upon each other naturally. Because we were physically in different states at the time of beginning this project, the process included some early logistical conversations about how to physically assemble a piece together. We started with individual sketches and ideas, which we patched together in person during a mutual visit home. In orienting towards the idea of the project as an homage to our father [Steve Clay], on the occasion of his 70th birthday, the central themes came up serendipitously and informed the assemblage of the card—specifically the “perfect unfolding” concept coinciding with the folding of the piece, which mirrored a larger modality of living taught to us by our father. This acceptance ultimately allowed the piece to flow out of us uninterrupted and unjudged.
N: Growing up, our dad introduced us to the idea of “the perfect unfolding," and it was a phrase that was often used amongst our family. Whenever something went wrong, we would announce that it was a perfect unfolding, and wait for the perfection to reveal itself; which it always did, every time.
The structure of this piece was intended to invite viewers to fold and unfold in new ways to create different images and stories. I hope folks will allow for the piece to guide them in interacting with it; turn it around, upside down, inside out, crumple it, prop it up, let it be a sculpture, read it like a book, play it like a score.
R: The folds each create different artwork based on how the piece is folded. It is not meant to be completely unfolded and looked at. It is many pieces contained in one.
N: Inevitably, sitting down and creating together is a process that resembles and draws upon the canon of all of our lifelong interactions—pretending the couch was our sailboat as kids; naming one thing we learned each day at the dinner table; tromping through the woods wearing orange vests; slamming the door in each other’s faces...it’s hard for me to separate the product of a collaboration from the relationship itself. What we create together is an artifact of our shared lives.
This is from an edition of 70 copies, signed by both artists. Of these, 20 copies are hors commerce and 50 are available for sale.